Monday, November 22, 2010


by Susan Minot
from Poems, 4 a.m., 2002

Even in the dead of winter
he is talking about bulbs.

Walking after dinner with my father.

There is snow, moonlight everywhere.
Cold. The loop is short.
We pass where he planted a hill
in the fall.
Above us stars

in the dark seed sky.
Their scattered pattern is something
we might discuss--
something he knows
from navigating boats.

I look up. It's like breathing ice.

My father's attention, though,
is on the knotty
wooden claws he's pressed in.
He knows where they are
below a packed layer of earth,
then all that snow above.
The tree shadows crisscross
and humps push up more sparkling white

and all he can think of,
walking with his daughter,
is bulbs.
Daffodils? I ask.
Yes, he says, this father of seven.
I planted them in clusers.

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